Stanford, Leland

Stanford, Leland,

1824–93, American railroad builder, politician, and philanthropist, b. Watervliet, N.Y. After practicing law in Wisconsin, he went (1852) to California, where he became a successful merchant. He served as governor (1861–63) of California and was one of the four founders of the Central Pacific RR. He was its president until his death, and he personally served as superintendent during part of its construction. He was also president (1885–90) of the Southern Pacific RR. From 1885 to his death he was a U.S. Senator. He founded and endowed Stanford Univ.Stanford University,
at Stanford, Calif.; coeducational; chartered 1885, opened 1891 as Leland Stanford Junior Univ. (still the legal name). The original campus was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. David Starr Jordan was its first president.
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 as a memorial to his son, Leland Stanford, Jr. His wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, 1825–1905, b. Albany, N.Y., shared in founding the university and continued to aid it after her husband's death.

Stanford, (Amasa) Leland

(1824–93) railroad builder, government official; born in Watervliet, N.Y. He practiced law in Wisconsin and then moved to California (1852) where he ran a general store. Successful in business, he became governor of California (1861–63), and more importantly, a founder and president of the Central Pacific Railroad (1863–93). He openly used his political power and ties to assist his railroad's development. After the transcontinental linking with the Union Pacific Railroad (1869), he built up the Southern Pacific Railroad; he eventually joined it with the Central Pacific to form the Southern Pacific Company, which he served as president (1884–90). He made a fortune, and, with his wife, founded and endowed Leland Stanford, Jr., University (1885) in memory of their only son (who died in 1884 at age 15). He served in the U.S. Senate (Rep., Calif.; 1885–93), but had an undistinguished career as a senator primarily interested in keeping the government from interfering in his railroad operations.
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